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 Post subject: Mental Illness and Artists - Nick and others
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:41 pm 
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I thought this was quite interesting, comparing Nick with other well-known individuals who suffered from mental illness. http://tallguywrites.livejournal.com/129594.html

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:26 pm 

Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 12:53 pm
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Location: Netherlands
Thanks. A well done "comic".

B.t.w. in the same context you could see the new project of singer-songwriter Susan McKeown, Singing in the Dark.


Last edited by Nossuri on Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:49 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:43 am
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Interesting, thanks....


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:10 pm 
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Personally, I don't think Nick suffered with or had "a mental illness".
He was just pissed off that his records never sold in the numbers that he wished or expected them to. This led to him being disillusioned with what he was trying to achive in life and quite possibly seeing everything out of real life context. John Martyn once said "nice bloke but he had screw loose" which is entirley different to mental illness.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:19 pm 
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I'm confident that Nick was mentally ill. I've been in a similar place myself and recognise a lot of the symptoms that Nick had. There was clearly much more to it than just failing to sell records. His deep introvertion was something that had already developed. The brain is just an organ - if you stress it for long enough it will eventually fail to function properly, and depression is largely due to chemical imbalances within the brain. Nick clearly put a lot of 'pressure' on himself (not helped by the drug-taking). The 'shock' of failure was enough to burst the cork with a nervous breakdown the inevitable result. Has Authur has said in another thread, he would have eventually got over it or learned to live with it - it just didn't happen, bless him.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:42 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 5:20 pm
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If anyone is interested in reading a very good book on artists and mental illness (especially depression), try "Touched With Fire" by Kay Redfield Jamison.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:38 pm
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Thank you for posting that Seran. Yes I'm sure Nick was in the grip of depression and his failure to gain recognition must have made him feel that his life was pointless. I also think, that given the right help he would have learned some coping strategies.
To be honest, I defy anyone to say they've never been in a 'black hole' that they feel they can't get out of. Everybody suffers from depression at some time or other ( and I'm not talking about one or two days after a bad day at the office). Some people cope with it better than others.

I think that most creative people have a little 'madness' in their makeup


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:16 pm 
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Anyone who gets to the point where they take their own life has to be suffering from some mental illness of some sort, I think. To overcome the human survival instinct is no easy feat.

Years ago I read a great book on artists and depression called "The Van Gogh Blues". Really nice look into the life of artists and why they may be more predisposed to depression that the general populace.

http://www.amazon.com/Van-Gogh-Blues-Cr ... =8-1-fkmr2

Jason

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:46 pm 

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Location: Suihua, Heilongjiang Province, China
There was once, on the old Iguana Nick Drake site, a very thought provoking essay about this, entitled `Nick Drake, Suicided by Society', by a fellow named Will Stone, which I find to be a wonderful name, and must be this person:http://www.saltpublishing.com/writers/profile.php?recordID=211169

The upshot was that people such as Nick (and others) are forced by the nature of society to either conform or die.


Refusing to conform, they die. One way or another.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:40 am 
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I still feel that all Nick really wanted on that fateful night was to sleep - not to die. But there is still truth in what you say Arthur.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:04 pm 
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Location: Oxfordshire UK
Perhaps i'm mentally ill then :?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:01 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:55 pm
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LostBoy wrote:
Personally, I don't think Nick suffered with or had "a mental illness".
He was just pissed off that his records never sold in the numbers that he wished or expected them to. This led to him being disillusioned with what he was trying to achive in life and quite possibly seeing everything out of real life context. John Martyn once said "nice bloke but he had screw loose" which is entirley different to mental illness.


Considering how he became, so withdrawn he disappeared, as someone said, I think we might have to categorize that as something a little beyond "pissed." Unable to talk, unable to face people seems a bit beyond disappointed and grumpy.

I, of course, have no idea if he was mentally ill, but will venture to say that the distance between "screw loose" and mentally ill is probably often hazy and stretchable. At what point does deep depression, or indeed repression, become so pronounced that it can be diagnosed as a disorder?

I have toyed with the idea that he was afflicted with something we'd now call Asbergers (mild autism, those suffering from it are, for example, socially awkward, uncomfortable with touching, making intimacy difficult). But really, this is just my layman, armchair analysis and I wouldn't go so far as to argue the point with anyone, I barely agree with it myself :)

I do concur with Jason Parker, that to overcome the survival instinct, there is probably some sort if "disorder" involved (I put that in quotes because defining and diagnosing a disorder is subjective - hang on, let me double check my username. Nope, still midnightmoon, not Arthur). But, this point presupposes Drake's suicide, which I'm also undecided on.

On a somewhat unrelated note (although it gives a glimpse into the suicidal mind), I saw an interview with a man who threw himself off the Golden Gate bridge and survived. He said that as his feet left the platform, the first, frantic (and only?) thought that entered his mind was: What have I done, I want to live!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:14 am 
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Regarding autism, he doesn't appear to have had any learning difficulties - quite the opposite in fact, so I think it is very unlikely (I have a relative who is autistic and it was obvious something was wrong from a very early age). Most likely Nick was just very shy and introverted, but with such a warm and kind heart, he was always going to find the music industry difficult (or as Authur said, society itself), whether it be in failure or success.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:53 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:55 pm
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Well Asbergers is in the family of autism, but strictly speaking, I think, isn't autism. Asbergers is more along the lines of a person who is socially challenged or oblivious but can possess an amazing ability to focus and, therefore, isn't necessarily dealing with a learning disability.

He was probably too emotional and sensitive to be socially oblivious. But, knowing what's going on and knowing how to deal aren't always connected.

This is sort of grasping at straws and, again, I'm not really arguing for or against disorders. I think the issue we have is simply that when thinking of him, we keep going back to an unanswerable question (and I say this with the deepest affection, appreciation and sympathy) : What the hell was wrong with him?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:10 pm 

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Don't think Nick was suffering from Asbergers...these days it's all too easy to stick a label on just about everything. I don't think there was anything much wrong with him apart from...He was a perfectionist who disliked performing (It's obvious to me that a perfectionist rarely gets perfection in a live performance) plus...he had 3 wonderfully crafted albums that didn't sell too well...

In my view this all adds up to someone who knew he was good but was unable to break through to the world at large.

Rejection, rejection, rejection...

Enough to send anyone over the edge but I still don't think he intended to kill himself. I honestly believe he was seriously depressed and took a few too many pills by mistake in order to shut out his feelings of failure.


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